White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany took aim Tuesday at The New York Times, calling a recent attack on White House Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Deborah Birx “appalling.”
McEnany closed out Tuesday morning’s White House press briefing with praise for Birx, adding that the NYT should be “very ashamed.” (RELATED: ‘Dereliction Of Duty’: Kayleigh McEnany Fires Back At Chicago Mayor Over ‘Karen’ Remark)
McEnany mentioned a recent article in the NYT which suggested that the White House had favored Birx because she had been the only expert to consistently present President Donald Trump with a rosier forecast regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
Inside Trump’s Failure: The Rush to Abandon Leadership Role on the Virus — strong reporting by NYT team, including how Dr. Birx made herself “a constant source of upbeat news for the president” https://t.co/Ak9FgOQHbA
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) July 19, 2020
The article claimed that the Trump administration had relied almost exclusively on medical data provided by Birx, whose predictions had been consistently less gloomy than those of some of her colleagues.
A highly regarded infectious diseases expert, she was a constant source of upbeat news for the president and his aides, walking the halls with charts emphasizing that outbreaks were gradually easing.
It went on to say that the Trump administration’s insistence on relying on the most positive outlook — the one presented by Birx — may have led to mishandling of the crisis.
McEnany said Birx had played a key role in making sure that both the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force and governors nationwide had been kept abreast of the most accurate and up-to-date information possible.
“Dr. Birx is an extraordinary doctor who has served this country, dedicated her time to serving our country as an Army colonel, she served as an ambassador to PEPFAR where she spent her life fighting AIDS and HIV abroad,” McEnany began. “And it is appalling, the attack that I saw on her in The New York Times, that’s based on no facts.”
McEnany went on to tout Birx’s work in gathering data and disseminating it to governors across the country, adding, “I have not seen anyone poring over data the way Dr. Birx has, and the attack on her was frankly appalling and egregious and The New York Times should be very ashamed of themselves.”